Revenue from new taxes to help reduce circular debt: Dar

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar said here on Thursday said that implementation of new taxes would generate Rs202bn, which would help to reduce the circular debt, adding that the government would not make any decisions under pressure.

Speaking at a post-budget press conference on Thursday, he added that the nation must move forward by keeping in mind the current situation.

By 2016, Dar said that the government aimed to reduce the fiscal deficit by four per cent, bring down inflation to single-digit level, as well as increase the GDP up to seven per cent and foreign remittances to $20bn.

The finance minister said that the government planned to eliminate the circular debt within 60 days, adding that it would do everything to bring the economy back on track and not allow the debts pile up.

Moreover, Dar said that the secret funds of the ministries and other government departments had been ended. Current non-salaried expenditures of the government would be slashed by 30 per cent.

Furthermore, the Prime Minister House budget, excluding salaries and allowances, was reduced by 44 per cent, while the PM Office’s budget was slashed to Rs396mln from last fiscal year’s Rs725mln, a reduction of 45 per cent.

The corporate tax was also reduced to 30 per cent from 35 per cent.

According to Dar, the government would save Rs40bn by employing these austerity measures. He added that the current economic problems were caused by the fact that the expenditures were higher than the income.

The finance minister said that the increase in the general sales tax was slight, while no new taxes had been imposed on the essential food items.

In a response to a question, Dar said that the funds allotted to a certain sector would only be utilised for that particular sector.

Finance Minister Dar further said that the government would attempt to move in the right direction, but the nation must bear the current problems for the sake of their future generations.

Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Secretary Finance Waqar Masood and other senior officials were also present at the press conference.